Gay & lesbian tourism in Mexico's capital has soared since lawmakers legalized gay marriage in March.

According to the government's Officinia de Turismo Lesbico-Gay Bisexual y Transexual (LGBT), the city netted nearly half a million dollars (6 million pesos) in the second half of 2010.

The agency's manager, Erwin Romero Montiel, credited the legalization of gay marriage for the city's soaring gay tourism.

“Social progress, namely the law to allow marriages between members of the same sex and local government policies, have opened great possibilities for this niche market,” he told Mexican news agency Notimex.

The city has actively campaigned to woo gay dollars. For example, after Argentina legalized marriage for gay couples, Mexico City officials invited the first couple to marry to honeymoon in Mexico.

Montiel said that he believes Mexico City can compete with the world's leading gay tourism cities of San Francisco, Toronto and Buenos Aires. He added that the city is considering certifying businesses as gay friendly.

“The gay tourist is equally or more demanding than the heterosexual tourist, and will easily uncover a hoax, but the certification will allow better control of quality standards,” he said.